The ABCs of privacy protection provides a few simple steps to follow to help you protect your privacy when you download and use mobile apps on smartphones and tablets.
Mobile apps are becoming a huge part of our everyday lives. From checking the weather and getting real-time news and transport updates, to shopping and playing games, there seems to be an app for almost everything!
Keeping your personal details private should always be a top priority when using apps on your smartphones and tablets. The good news is there are things you can do to help protect your privacy. Just remember the ABCs next time you download an app to ensure your information is protected.
Know your ABCs
- ALWAYS check what information the app is collecting, and what it will do with it. If it seems excessive, reconsider whether you really need the app.
- BE AWARE of apps that share information online. For example, some apps might post your exact location, or publish photos you’ve taken online without you knowing about it.
- CHECK the reviews before you download an app. No reviews or only positive reviews all sounding the same may mean you should take extra care with any information you are asked to provide.
- NSW privacy law requires public sector agencies, including councils and universities, health service providers and certain businesses to be upfront about what they are doing with any personal information they collect in their privacy statement. This includes any personal information collected through a mobile app.
You should also be able to easily delete or deactivate an app at any time. We suggest you consider regularly deleting any apps you don’t use.
For more information on how to safeguard your personal information when using apps please read the IPC’s informative fact sheet on “Mobile Apps: know the risks” for the public, available to download at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.
If you’re thinking of developing an app, or you are interested in finding out more about the obligations of organisations in relation to the protection of users’ personal information, please view the IPC’s additional fact sheet on “Mobile Apps: know the risks” agency checklist, available to download at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.
For more information
Contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW:
Last updated: May 2014